Finally got a job offer!

One week after the interview, I was offered the job!

So happy!
I feel bad. I have neglected posting in here for a while, but in all fairness, I have been dealing with stress and depression trying to find jobs, job leads, and just continued to send job applications like crazy. But it finally happened – I was offered a job!

My application was done late February or early March (i can’t even remember because it was that long ago for me), and after a month of applying to it, I figured I didn’t have a shot. When I finally got an email invitation for an interview, I was certainly surprised that I heard back from them two months after I applied. (And then I realized with all the interviews I previously got, the average waiting time for me from application to interview invitation was 2 months.)

I believe all the failed interviews I’ve had, preparation, and really pushing my confidence out of its teeny tiny shell helped me in presenting myself during that interview. Upwardly Global has been a huge help, and their training videos definitely assisted me in preparing for the job interview. Additionally, they will assign you an adviser who will call you from time to time, review your resume and basically help out an immigrant who’s having a hard time presenting themselves as a job seeker in the US job market. (I’ll review my experience with Upwardly Global probably in my next blog post.) Besides that, my husband and I also attended a career resume-building workshop and, again continued to find job leads.

The interview went for an hour, where they asked their typical questions, I showed my genuine interest of working with them (as I have worked in an educational institution back in the Philippines too and enjoyed it), showed them a previous video work sample, made them laugh, and asked them questions as well. It was an interview I really did enjoy. What made me think that I wouldn’t get the job was that my previous job experience and what they are looking for aren’t exactly a match, but the basics are both the same. It was a week of waiting and li’l ol’ me was getting pessimistic about the whole thing again and my husband was very understanding and loving and we never stopped praying.

I cried when I heard the words when they called Monday morning. As much as I didn’t want to make myself feel like my work gives me a status or provides me a safety net, being unemployed really felt like I was lower than low. And with something positive to look forward to now, I can’t wait to start saving up, move out, find an apartment (my in-laws have been so understanding and patient with us for letting us live with them since I immigrated) and help my husband with his project and get his novel published, and of course, visit my family in the Philippines in a couple of years or so. We also plan to move out closer to my work place, because it just won’t work with my husband (I still am trying to learn how to drive, or at least be confident enough on the road) driving me to and fro from his parent’s house to work for 40 minutes. I’m looking forward to apartment hunting now!

I’m excited, and scared; scared of starting a job in less than two weeks and I feel like I won’t be able to function properly because of my nervousness. I’m excited as well, because finally, my husband and I can finally start a new path.



Getting job searching assistance in the US through Upwardly Global

Restarting job huting by going back to basics with Upwardly Global

I have probably applied to fifty jobs (I want to say I’m exaggerating, but right now it does feel like I’ve sent my resume that many times) but so far I’ve only gotten two interviews (both of which didn’t get me the job), and most of them are denied job applications, which makes me believe I’m doing something wrong. And so a few days ago, I have decided to reach out to Upwardly Global and sent them my application on March 16.

Upwardly Global is an organization aiming to help immigrants in the US to rebuild the careers they had before immigrating to the US. Their website was easy enough to navigate, and the help and assistance they provide is free. According to their website, Upwardly Global provides service to the immigrant job seeker, saying:

“Our Job Seeker Services Program prepares educated and skilled immigrants, refugees, and asylees to overcome the numerous barriers to professional employment.”

They don’t just accept any immigrant for their program. They do have requirements for the job seeker who wish to get assistance from their organization. Upwardly Global has three offices locations: Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Of course, with them being located so far away from where I live (Missouri), I had to figure out if they provide online services as well. Turns out, they do.

I figured there was no harm in trying, and after reading that it’s free, I’ll be gaining more information on insight as an immigrant trying to not just find a job but find a career I will enjoy. And so earlier today, I received a phone call from Upwardly Global and they just asked me a few questions about what my career and job expertise was back home, as well as providing information about their organization. Additionally, you would have an adviser to help you out with their workshops, and provide assistance as well with providing you a bridge between you, future employers, and networking with them. This organization is not an agency; they will not offer nor offer you a job. As they have said in their website:

“We do not guarantee job placement. What we can guarantee is that after you complete the training, you will have a professional portfolio consisting of a resume and cover letter, a growing connection with professionals in your field, and improved interview and networking skills. Your success in finding a job will depend on your motivation and determination.”

After providing and exchanging details and questions and answers, I was emailed with a link for a Professional Assessment, followed by a online presentation of Resume Writing here in the US and after listening to it intently and absorbing all the information. At the end of the lesson, I revised the resume using the information I learned (as well as the resume template they provided – which I don’t want to put online) and realized just how different my previous resume looked compared to my newly revised one.

I intentionally blurred it to protect my information, and to make sure anyone with a bad intention of using my personal information won't be able to use it

I intentionally blurred it to protect my information, and to make sure anyone with a bad intention of using my personal information won’t be able to use it

What I learned from the Resume Writing Lesson they provided is that with my non-US job experiences, the employers won’t be able to relate to it and so I needed to provided additional information. However, I did remove my internship details and college activities. I decided to do that because my internship didn’t really relate to any of my previous experiences, and with me being no longer a recent graduate, my college activities don’t really matter that much anymore.

I will be giving updates regarding my lessons with Upwardly Global and review the lessons, services they provide, and if the program helps me out in the future when it comes to finding my career. I do know it’s not just Upwardly Global who bring me to my goal. I, myself, would have to be serious and keep my end of the bargain by doing what is required of me and participating and doing their suggestions and tips, in the hopes that at the end of this all ,I’ll find my place in the industry I love in the US.

USCIS updates regarding Adjustment of Status

AOS Card Production one week after getting Potential Interview Waiver

Today has been a good day, at least in relation to my Adjustment of Status petition (AOS) from a K1 visa to Permanent Resident. Short background: November 2012, my then-fiance (now husband) and I started our journey to be together and filed for a K1 visa, immigrated to the US on August 1, 2013, got married September 1, 2013, and started the AOS journey October 2013.  I was fearful that the whole process will take a really long while and I would have a lot of trouble with the process and paperwork. But I guess my fears were for nothing and that my husband and I have been doing a great job with the whole process.

I got the potential interview waiver letter last week, January 10, which made me kind of dismayed since the letter said it will take an additional 6 months for the Kansas City USCIS local field office in Missouri to process the AOS petition. However, the update I received earlier really put my spirits up. Having the permanent residency card (or green card) will make it easier for me to just go in and out of the US so my husband and I could visit my family back in the Philippines, and for more permanent opportunities job-wise and other benefits of having a US permanent residency card or green card.

The USCIS update says the card could be mailed out and received within 60 days so, I will just have to wait and see if it will be mailed out in time.


Being an immigrant and not knowing how to drive

Being an immigrant and not knowing how to drive

Immigrant learning how to drive  – can I even pass the permit test?

The first few weeks of coming to the US had been the scariest and most awesome moments of my life. Now that I’ve been here for about five months and with most of my documents already approved from my K1 Visa process to my Adjustment of Status application (Employment Authorization being one of them), I need to start to actually fit into their world and learn how to drive. And it sucks when you’re an immigrant and from a country where driving is considered more of a luxury than a necessity. I have always relied on public transportation, never knowing I would one day be emigrating from the Philippines.

Now that I’m here and now realizing how much driving is important here, I’ve been trying to review the Missouri Driver’s Guide. But reading all those texts just bores me out. I needed something interactive. Which is why I googled sample driving tests online, and I found a site where I actually enjoy taking the sample tests that helps me gain knowledge about driving and review what i already know.

The website is Driving-Tests.Org It’s easy enough to navigate. Just select your state, and select the kind of sample exams you want to try and there you go!

And having both the booklet and those sample exams, I feel pretty confident than in a couple of days (or weeks, depending on how my nerves are) I could take the permit exams and finally practice with my husband’s car as along I have someone accompanying me.